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DO YOUR PART

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Make your own household cleaners

By TERRI BENNETT
Terri Bennett
Terri Bennett has been providing weather forecasts in the Charlotte area for more than 16 years. In September 2007, she launched Terribennett.com to serve as the single source of Terri's knowledge and expertise. She is also promoting green technology in her 'Do Your Part' campaign.

There’s no need to spend a ton of money on potentially toxic household chemical cleaners. Instead, use a few ingredients to whip up healthier homemade substitutions that will work wonders on every inch of my home.

Try adding these solutions for your spring cleaning routine.

DIY disinfectants: Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water, or use hydrogen peroxide at full strength or diluted. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that kills viruses and is safe to use most anywhere – except on marble or other porous surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide is also a non-toxic option to quickly kill bacteria, mold and mildew. Use it full strength on cutting boards or dilute it with water for use on finished surfaces. Mix only what you need, as water and exposure to light reduce hydrogen peroxide’s cleaning properties.

Mold killer: Mix 1 cup of borax with 1 gallon of water to eat away at mold on tile grout. Borax also works well on hard water deposits. Use a paste to scrub the sides of the tub to a sparkling white. Leave 1 cup of borax in the toilet bowl overnight to make it fresh and clean.

Glass cleaner: Make a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water for pennies. A 128-ounce jug of vinegar costs around $3.50. That’s about the same price for 26 ounces of the leading glass cleaner. That jug of vinegar will last nearly 10 times longer.

Stainless steel cleaner: Olive oil can give you the shine you want without polluting the air inside your home. Use a cloth to polish the appliances all over with olive oil, and then wipe away any extra with a soft, dry cloth. Your stainless steel will look just as shiny as if you had used a commercial cleaner.

Furniture polish: Mix two parts olive oil and one part vinegar, or substitute lemon juice for vinegar. Mix only what you need in a small bowl. Use a soft cloth to get wood pieces glowing again. Lemon juice will leave a pleasant scent.

Check out DoYourPart.com/Columns for more eco-friendly cleaning recipes.

Bennett: DoYourPart.com
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